1922 COTTAGE WITH ORIGINAL 100-YEAR OLD CORAL ROCK FOUNDATION IS IN DANGER

1922 COTTAGE WITH ORIGINAL 100-YEAR OLD CORAL ROCK FOUNDATION IS IN DANGER

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Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables started this petition to City Clerk Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board and

To: The Historic Preservation Board, City of Coral Gables: I want to add my name in opposition to the issuance of Special Certificate of Appropriateness 2020-007, providing for the relocation of 603 Minorca Avenue, Coral Gables.

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Dear Neighbor,

One of the greatest assets of living in our various Coral Gables neighborhoods is the way that each area has its distinctive significance and character, reflecting the original vision and early history of our “City Beautiful.” The northern streets of “Old Coral Gables” were the first to be developed by founder George Merrick, and include the earliest homes in the area, dating from 1920s. The different styles of the houses provide a virtual textbook of the distinctive architectural heritage that makes our community unique, and offer the wonderful experience of a coherent, human-scale neighborhood encompassing the array of historic landmarks that attracted all of us who are privileged to live in this City.

Preserving these special qualities requires constant vigilance from neighbors who are committed to the unique environment and community spirit that make each section of the City so special and desirable. An essential part of this spirit is the protection of landmark homes from inappropriate alterations that compromise their historic and artistic integrity, and diminish the quality of all of our experience and sense of this beautiful place.

We want to bring your attention to plans currently being considered for approval by the Historic Preservation Board of Coral Gables for the major alteration of one of the most significant landmarks of the Old Gables neighborhood, located at 603 Minorca Avenue. This charming stucco and stone cottage, designed by one of the “first generation” architects,  H. George Fink, was built in 1922 as one of the very first structures in the area. It is located on a gracious large double lot, surrounded by a broad lawn, as conceived in the original design, and, unlike most houses that followed it, is constructed on a rare coral rock stem foundation, integrated with the structure, including the chimney. This home was designated a Historic Landmark in 2005, for qualities that included “the uniqueness of the size of the property... still maintaining its integrity.” 

The application for a Special Certificate of Appropriateness, legally designated as COA(SP) 2020-007,  is now being considered by the Historic Preservation Board of the City. It calls for the relocation of the house to a far corner of the property to accommodate the construction of a new two story house next to it. We are alarmed that aside from the intrusion on the existing scale of the street,  previous examples of attempts to move such century old structures on original coral rock foundations have resulted in complete collapse. 

We are asking you to sign on to this letter, expressing your opposition to the granting of this Certificate by the City. The collective voices of a significant number of concerned neighbors will help prevent this compromise of the historic and structural integrity both of this important century-old landmark, and of the ambiance and cohesiveness of all of our beautiful  neighborhoods. Moreover, it will also be a statement of concern against this troubling trend of inappropriate alterations- and even demolitions- that undermine the intent and spirit of Coral Gables’s nationally respected commitment to the protection and preservation of its unique architectural and community heritage.

If you wish to support this effort, please SIGN THIS PETITION.

Sincerely,

Howard Berman                                                                                                  Herbert Brito
Josephine Johnson
Steven Littlehale                                                                                                    Martha Brannigan

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